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Milt Pappas – 1973 Topps #70

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MiltPappas_73topps#70_a Milton Steven “Milt” Pappas (born Miltiades Stergios Papastergios on May 11, 1939 in Detroit, Michigan) is a former professional baseball pitcher. A 17-year veteran, Pappas, nicknamed “Gimpy,” pitched for the Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. Pappas pitched in 520 games, starting 465, with 209 wins, 164 losses, 43 shutouts, 1728 strikeouts and a 3.40 ERA in 3186.0 innings pitched.
In 1970, the Braves pulled Pappas from their rotation after only three starts, after he compiled a 6.06 ERA and allowed six home runs. On June 23, they sold him to the Chicago Cubs, where he got another chance to prove he was still a major league starter. Pappas posted a 7–2 record with a 2.36 ERA at home and a 10–8 record with a 2.68 ERA overall. In 1971, Pappas went 17–14 with a 3.51 ERA. On September 24 of that year, against the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field, Pappas struck out three batters (Greg Luzinski and Don Money) on nine pitches in the fourth inning of a 6–1 loss, becoming the 10th National League pitcher and the 16th pitcher in Major League history to accomplish the nine-strike/three-strikeout half-inning. Five days later, Pappas was again part of baseball history, he was responsible for Ron Hunt’s 50th hit by pitch of the season, which broke the single-season record of 49 set by Hughie Jennings in 1896. Pappas complained to home plate umpire Ken Burkhart that the pitch had been over the plate, and that Hunt had made no effort to get out of the way. Pappas’s manager on the Cubs, Leo Durocher, had unkind words for Pappas in his memoir Nice Guys Finish Last.
On September 11, 1982, MiltPappas_73topps#70_bPappas’ wife, Carole, disappeared after leaving the couple’s home in the Farnham subdivision in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton. For five years, no sign was found of her car, clothing, or body. In 1987, almost five years to the day Mrs. Pappas disappeared, workers draining a shallow pond only four blocks from the Pappas home discovered the car Mrs. Pappas had been driving, a white and burgundy 1980 Buick, as well as her body. A DuPage County coroner’s jury ruled the cause of death as drowning. Police theorized she mistook a driveway near the pond for a road leading to her subdivision, vaulting 25–30 feet from the bank into the pond. Carole Pappas, a recovering alcoholic, may have been drinking. However, blood alcohol content could not be confirmed.

Larry Gura – 1973 Topps #501


LarryGura_73topps#501_a Lawrence Cyril Gura (born November 26, 1947, in Joliet, Illinois) a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball from 1970 to 1985. He spent 16 years in the Major Leagues playing for the Chicago Cubs of the National League, and the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals, both of the American League. He was inducted into the inaugural Joliet Hall of Fame in Joliet, Illinois. He was elected to the American League All-Star team in 1980 when he had his finest season, finishing with an 18–10 record LarryGura_73topps#501_band a 2.95 ERA. Gura won in double figures for seven consecutive seasons for the Royals with 99 wins over that span. He particularly pestered his former team, the Yankees, against whom he went 11–6 in the regular season as a Royal. Gura was 3–0 against them in both 1979 and 1980, with five complete games, and another complete-game victory against them in the 1980 American League Championship Series. Gura finished with a 126–97 career record, 24 saves and an earned run average of 3.76.

Clyde Wright – 1973 Topps #373

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Clyde Wright (born February 20, 1941 in Jefferson City, Tennessee), He pitched for the California Angels (1966–73), Milwaukee Brewers (1974) and Texas Rangers (1975). He also pitched three seasons in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants (1976–78). He is the father of Jaret Wright. Wright was a star pitcher at Carson-Newman College, whom he pitched to the 1965 NAIA Baseball World Series title. During that World Series, Wright struck out 22 batters in one game, an NAIA World Series record.

Wright defeated the Minnesota Twins on a four-hitter in his Major League debut (June 15, 1966). He was a spot starter for the Angels in his first two seasons, and in 1968 won 10 games while losing six, pitching mostly in relief.
In 1970 he had the best season of his career. He won 22 games to become only the second 20-game winner in franchise history and established a career-low 2.83 ERA, which earned him the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award. Wright also no-hit the Oakland Athletics 4-0 at Anaheim Stadium on July 3 of that year, the first no-hitter ever pitched in that stadium. He almost lost the no-hitter in the 7th inning on Reggie Jackson’s 400-foot shot to straight-away center field, which was caught by Jay Johnstone just in front of the wall. The day was doubly memorable for Wright: in a pre-game ceremony, he had been inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame.
During a 13-year baseball career, Wright won 100 games, 667 strikeouts, and a 3.50 earned run average.

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